Monday, December 16, 2013

Son, Don't Pick The Cowboys...

Son,I'll put it bluntly. I forbid you to cheer for the Dallas Cowboys.

I'm doing this for your own good. Go find a good team. A blue collar, workmanlike team. Don't fall for the flash, the titles, the glitz and glamour. It's fool's gold, and you are no fool.

Me? Yeah, it's too late for me. But I have high hopes for you.

You can question my loyalty, call me a fair weather fan.Just don't say that I don't care, because I do. I want to protect my son, save him the head banging frustration that comes with following The Boys. And in the end, isn't that what we all want to do, protect our children?

Dreaming Big...
He’s a clean slate. Without the memories of yesteryear which makes the heartbreak of today so painful. He never saw the big three play in the nineties. He hasn’t learned about the history and tradition. So for him I will say, go find your team. Any team. Just don’t pick the Cowboys.

With 31 other options to choose from(and there may be more on the way), I want him to find happiness somewhere else. He can pick those lovable losers in Cleveland, he can choose solely by uniform—as my wife did, and hop on the wings of the Seattle Seahawks. He can go with the rich history and tradition of the Packers, Bears, Giants, ahem, uh Redskins.

And that is fine. Just don’t pick the Cowboys.

The Cowboys are like the hot blonde smiling at you across the room. The one everyone warns you about yet you trudge across the floor towards her. She’ll flirt with you and get your hopes up and then split after you buy her a drink. But like an idiot you'll keep coming back hoping that the next time....well yes next time will be different.

You’ll blame the defense, Tony Romo, coaching, that hideous big screen in the stadium, climate change. You'll make excuses to make yourself feel better. A week will pass and you tune in again, only to inflict more pain.  And then come playoff time you'll find yourself without a team.

I know all too well. I became a Cowboys dad because my dad was a Cowboys fan. I never had a chance. I learned about the history, checking out books from our school library where I read about the gridiron greats who’d worn the star. Players like Drew Pearson, Bob Hayes, Don Meredith, Ed “Too Tall” Jones, Randy White, Tony Dorsett, Hollywood Henderson, Everson Walls, Michael Downs, Doug Cosby, and even the lesser known but fearless renegade, Bill Bates. At home I’d sit cross legged and wide-eyed on the floor as my dad passed down the stories of the clashes with the Steelers during the glory days of the seventies. Sure, those losses to the Steel Curtain were heart wrenching, but Super Bowl victories in '71 and '77 kind of cushioned the blow.

Those teams in the seventies were perennial power houses, not to mention what could have been had Jackie Smith not dropped a sure touchdown pass in Super Bowl XIII. (Still hurts). But the end was near, and Dwight Clark’s catch against the 49ers ushered in the eighties as Danny White struggled in the shadow of the great Roger Staubach. But struggle is a relative term. Compared with today, the eighties were a runaway success. There were still playoffs, and even playoff victories. There was still Tom Landry, stalking the sidelines, the legend in the suit and fedora who’d coached the team since its inception in 1960.

As a kid I devoured the history of my beloved Cowboys. And now it hurts. It hurts bad. But this isn’t a history lesson son. This is a warning. A heed. A command if you will. Stay away from them. As a matter of fact, stay away from football. Do something productive with your time or even just punch yourself in the gut every Sunday afternoon.

But if you do choose to watch football, at least pick a team without a meddling owner. Pick a team that plays in a normal stadium instead of a theme park with a football field. Pick a team with less flash and more substance, a team whose owner doesn’t play fantasy football with his own club. I guess that does rule out the Redskins too…

One playoff win over the next seventeen years. Kids graduating high school now have never known the Cowboys to be any good and probably wonder why they are so talked about. They’re the epitome of mediocre. Win one lose one and so on. They flirt with playoff contention and do just enough to stay relevant and in the news. 

And they let you down year after year after year.

Yet they do remain relevant.They are the lead story, the headliners.The main act. Forbes Magazine lists them as the most valuable franchise in sports.  The Cowboys games are constantly on prime time. Thanksgiving, Monday nights. And every year is the year. Few teams in the history of sports can excite the media with a two game winning streak. The Cowboys do it every single year. If they win three, things really get chaotic. The talk shows begin gushing about the playoffs and glory days. Hell, they were 3-9 and "still in the hunt" this year. And then the bottom falls out. 

Every. Single. Year.

So don’t do it son. Pick San Fran, Denver, San Diego, hell, pick the Raiders. Just don’t pick the Boys, don’t jumble your brain with useless stats that float around inside your father’s head and make him wince when hears names like Quincy Carter, Leon Lett, Babe Laughenburg, ugh, Greg Hardy. 

Go pick a team and enjoy football like a normal person. Who knows?  Maybe you'll hitch your wagon to the right horse and get lucky. So listen to your father, or your grandfather, we want the best for you. Break away, go find a team that will make you happy.

You have my blessing.


  1. No... you can prevent him from picking the Cowboys, but do not, under any circumstances, let him be a skins fan!